LNJ Foxwoods’ stellar Miss Preakness (Grade III) winner Covfefe was made the slight 7-5 morning line favorite over Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt, Heider Family Stables and Madaket Stables’ Humana Distaff (GI) hero Mia Mischief, who was slated at 8-5, for Saturday’s 10th running of the $120,000-added Roxelana Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.
“(Covfefe) has just been training so well the last few days here that I wanted to enter her now instead of wait,” trainer Brad Cox said. “She’s ready to run, and even though Mia Mischief showed up in the race, I’m still very confident in our filly. There is some other speed that entered the race but I still think we are the fastest of anyone in there.”
Cox stated that the Roxelana could be used as a prep for Saratoga’s $500,000 Longines Test Stakes (GI), which is run six weeks later on Aug. 3. The Louisville-based conditioner also plans to run Eight Belles (GII) winner Break Even in the Test.
The six-furlong Roxelana, named for the crack female sprinter who won seven of 11 starts and earned $264,726 between 2000-03 for trainer William “Blackie” Huffman, is carded as Race 10 of 11 on Saturday’s program with a scheduled post time of 5:26 p.m. (all times Eastern). First race Saturday is 12:45 p.m.
Named after a viral typo that President Donald Trump made on Twitter, Covfefe smashed Pimlico Race Course’s track record in the $150,000 Miss Preakness with a final time of 1:07.70 as she defeated eight fillies by 8 ½ lengths on May 17. A 3-year-old daughter by Into Mischief, Covfefe (4-3-0-0—$196,200) debuted in September at Churchill Downs with a 9 ¼-length maiden victory under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan. Following a fourth-place effort in the Oct. 7 Frizette (GI), Covfefe returned as a 3-year-old with a gutsy half-length score in a first-level allowance event at Keeneland in early April.
Bridgmohan, who also is the regular rider for Break Even, has the call from post position No. 2 as the lone 3-year-old filly in the field of 10 fillies and mares. Bridgmohan stated he’ll likely ride Break Even in the Test.
Covfefe’s biggest threat is three-time stakes-winning filly Mia Mischief. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Mia Mischief (14-6-6-0—$883,420) scored an 11-1 upset in the $500,000 Humana Distaff when she defeated favorite Marley’s Freedom by 1 ¾ lengths on Kentucky Derby Day. The classy daughter of Into Mischief had a stellar 3-year-old campaign with a victory in the Eight Belles (GII) at Churchill Downs and a narrow runner-up effort in the Test Stakes (GI) at Saratoga. Mia Mischief began her 4-year-old campaign with a three-length score in a conditioned allowance event at Oaklawn and a runner-up effort in the Carousel Stakes prior to her Humana Distaff triumph.
“The Humana Distaff was her early-year goal and the (GI, $500,000) Ballerina (on Aug. 24) at Saratoga is her summer goal,” Asmussen said. “Mia Mischief was part of a very special weekend for us on Derby weekend. In 2016, when we were lucky to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, I looked up the stat and we won more than 1,000 races for Bill and Corrine. It doesn’t even seem possible.”
Ricardo Santana Jr. has the mount on Mia Mischief from post 10.
The field for the Roxelana from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Awestruck (Julien Leparoux, Rusty Arnold II, 12-1); Covfefe (Bridgmohan, Cox, 7-5); Honey Bunny (Tyler Baze, John Ortiz, 8-1); Ascot Day (Declan Cannon, Danny Peitz, 30-1); Astrollinthepark (Gabriel Saez, Larry Jones, 12-1); Classy Act (Adam Beschizza, Joe Sharp, 12-1); Upset Brewing (Edgar Morales, Buff Bradley, 20-1); Salt Bae (Corey Lanerie, Bernie Flint, 15-1); Annathela (James Graham, Arnold, 20-1); and Mia Mischief (Santana, Asmussen, 8-5).
Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:45 a.m. General Admission is $5, reserved seating is $12 and reserved dining packages are $41. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
LANERIE ON TARGET FOR 17th RIDING TITLE AT CHURCHILL DOWNS – With seven days of racing remaining at Churchill Downs’ 38-day Spring Meet, veteran rider Corey Lanerie began the week with a 31-26 win lead over Miguel Mena in the jockey standings.
Lanerie has won the local riding title in five out of the last seven Spring Meets. Overall, he’s won 16 titles in the last 20 meets at Churchill Downs dating back to 2012 Spring Meet. The 44-year-old native of Lafayette, La. has 33 scheduled mounts Thursday-Saturday at Churchill Downs.
In the trainer standings, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen is on pace for his 21st local title with a 21-14 win lead over Eddie Kenneally. Asmussen entered Thursday’s program three wins from 700 career victories at Churchill Downs and 30 wins behind Dale Romans for the prestigious honor to be crowned the all-time leading trainer beneath the Twin Spires.
In the owner standings, Maggi Moss is in search of her sixth career title at Churchill Downs with a 6-4 win lead over Allied Racing Stable, Calumet Farm, Ken and Sarah Ramsey and Whitham Thoroughbreds.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Through 30 days of racing at the 38-day Spring Meet, there have been 258 claims for a total of $5,388,000. At this stage in 2018 there were 166 claims totaling $3,470,500. That’s a lofty 55% increase. … Churchill Downs will have a four-day week of racing for the penultimate week of the Spring Meet (with first race post time, number of races): Thursday (5 p.m., 8 races), Friday (12:45 p.m., 9 races), Saturday (12:45 p.m., 11 races) and Sunday (12:45 p.m., 10 races). … Twilight Thursday presented by Blue Moon will feature eight races with a post time of 5 p.m. along with $1 Blue Moon drafts, $1 domestic draft beer, food trucks, lawn games, one-on-one expert betting advice and live music on the Plaza Stage from Hora Certa. … Brian Hernandez Jr. entered Thursday six wins from 600 career victories at Churchill Downs … Florent Geroux and Jon Court are scheduled to ride Owendale and Long Range Toddy, respectively, in Saturday’s $500,000 Ohio Derby (GIII) at Thistledown. Channing Hill will be at Monmouth Park on Saturday to pilot Zula Alpha in the $300,000 United Nations (GI). … Sunday is Family Adventure Day presented by Kroger. There will be more than 20 fun activities for kids under 12 in the Plaza, a family viewing area to watch live racing and special family ticket packages that start at $10 in advance (children under 2 are admitted free). The theme is “Get Outdoors” and families can learn about all that Louisville’s great outdoors has to offer with activities from The Parklands of Floyds Fork, Louisville Parks and Recreation, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and more. Additional event features include stick horse races, a petting zoo, mini pony rides, face painting, bounce houses, an obstacle course, corn hole, a bubble station, as well as a special area for children under 3. For more information or tickets, visit www.churchilldowns.com/tickets.